As the left-coast laboratory of socialist government, California is always coming up with new ways to mix radical ideas like gun control and guaranteed income, the latest example being a program launched in the City of San Francisco where potential killers will be paid up to $500 a month not to shoot people.
This is NOT satire. The city’s Dream Keeper Fellowship will give monthly gift cards of up to $500 to 10 people deemed to be at high risk of gun crime if they refrain from taking part in the city’s alarming surge in shootings (via SFExaminer.com):
San Francisco thinks it may have an answer for its rising gun violence problem: Paying people to not pull the trigger.
The idea is to provide the small number of San Franciscans who authorities believe are most at risk of shooting someone — or being shot — with an incentive to get help and stay out of trouble. It’s a solution that proponents say already has shown promise preventing gun crimes in other parts of California.
At worst, the program could be called “cash for criminals,” like its predecessors in cities around the Bay Area. At best, it could save lives and tax dollars otherwise spent on incarceration.
The program, which will launch as a pilot in October, is called the Dream Keeper Fellowship. It’s San Francisco’s latest iteration of a guaranteed-income program that will provide high-risk individuals with $300 a month as a start.
Participants will be able to earn up to $200 more a month by hitting milestones in the program, such as landing a job interview, complying with probation or consistently meeting with a mentor.
The theory is that the up to $500 stipend will serve as an incentive to participate — and stay engaged.
“We know that $500 in San Francisco is not a significant amount of money,” said Sheryl Davis, a proponent of the program and executive director of the Human Rights Commission. “But if it’s enough to get you in to talk to folks, and be able to make a plan for your life, then that’s huge.”
Another guaranteed-income solution?
This isn’t the first time a city has tried to reduce gun violence by offering cash. A similar anti-violence program in Oakland, for instance, offers young adults up to $300 for achieving milestones. What’s new is San Francisco would start people off with a baseline of $300 a month without having to meet any marks. (emphasis mine)
The pilot program starts in October and plans to expand to around 75 people a year as part of the mayor’s two-year initiative to “reinvest $120 million” in the city’s black community — money that will be provided by partially defunding the San Francisco Police, as stated in the mayor’s press release:
“In June 2020, following the killing of George Floyd, Mayor Breed and Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton announced a plan to prioritize the redirection of resources from law enforcement to support the African-American community. The Dream Keeper Initiative is the result of that plan.” (emphasis mine)
The obvious insanity of this far-left, feel-good program isn’t as popular as San Francisco officials would have you believe (via New York Post):
The [San Francisco] program was inspired by one run in neighboring Richmond, California, in 2016 that studies have said reduced gun crime by up to 70 percent, officials told the local station.
But it had also faced serious controversy — with a 22-year-old member, Dawaun Rice, getting sentenced 40 years to life after admitting murdering two people, including a 17-year-old boy, in two separate shootings while in the program, The Mercury News reported at the time.
Yolanda Ficklin-Prothro, the grieving mother of one Rice’s victims, blamed the program organizers for her 29-year old son Javonte Prothro’s death.
“You didn’t take their guns. You were giving them money to buy more guns,” the mom said in a 2016 interview.
Meanwhile, Rev. Eugene Rivers III, a founder of the Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy Studies, ripped San Francisco’s decision to implement the offbeat program as a “policy gimmick” that is a “terrible idea.”
“You do not get young people — for real for real — to turn from crime by generating gimmicks.” he told “Fox and Friends,” comparing it to gun buy-back schemes.
“For many young people, it will be Christmas in … October,” he said, saying those involved will “make it a lucrative hustle, and we will not reduce crime.” (emphasis mine)
In reality, San Francisco’s plan to pay potential killers $500/mo. not to shoot people is glorified redistribute-the-wealth socialism with a little bit of gun control thrown in to make it more palatable; at least that was the case when Stockton, CA ex-Mayor Michael Tubbs — he lost his reelection in 2020 due, in part, to his “economic fairness” policies — launched his “Advance Peace” program back in 2018.
In connection with his so-called “living wage” pilot program that gave recipients $500/mo. as a form of “guaranteed basic income” to spend as they wish, Tubbs added the Advance Peace program that would give an additional $1,000/mo. to criminals as incentive not to kill.
Tubbs, a Stockton native and Stanford graduate who is all of 27 years old, wants to give at least $500 a month to a select group of residents. They’ll be able to spend it as they wish, for 18 months, in a pilot program to test the impact of what’s called guaranteed basic income.
If the very sound of that knocked you half off your chair, this next initiative might finish the job.
Stockton is about to award stipends of up to $1,000 a month to residents deemed most likely to shoot somebody. This program is called Advance Peace, and it’s modeled after a crime reduction program in the Bay Area city of Richmond.
By the way, based on his “success” in this area, Tubbs was recently named Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Special Advisor for Economic Mobility and Opportunity, a position that Newsom says will provide “recommendations to [his] team and help lead outreach efforts to increase opportunity and entrepreneurship to reduce poverty in California.”
It’s not beyond the realm of possibilities that we could see programs paying killers not to kill go state wide.
If these “pay killers not to shoot people” programs were really meant to reduce gun violence, then why stop there? If you can pay a gang-banger not to kill, why not pay them not to rob or rape? Ridiculous, right?
Controlling gun violence isn’t the goal; it’s “fairness” and “income equality” which means that programs like San Francisco’s plan to pay people $500/mo. not to shoot others is about pure, unbridled socialism . . . in all its liberty-killing glory.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.